As it is Opening Day, I figured I’d hunt through the archives and find my column from two years ago. It has been removed from its original publication’s website (ND/SMC Observer), so I figured I’d just copy the whole thing into here.
Funny story about this article: I wrote it on Opening Day, but the Editorial staff decided to run it a week later, and had me change the verb tenses from present to past. Well, here it is in its proper form.
And yes, I realize my jokes and Asher Roth references really dates this article. A testament to the past. Without further ado:
If I were to list my five favorite days of the year, Opening Day of Major League Baseball would be nestled somewhere between my birthday and New Years. Much like the first day of March Madness, I would be quite content spending the entire day camped right in front my television, watching it all unfold. Even if you don’t celebrate as piously as I do, I hope you enjoy the inaugural festivities, and I hope your team wins, so long as you aren’t a Dodgers fan.
As I sit watching baseball (taking breaks between pitches to write fragments of this article), I reflect on what makes the sport so endearing. Other than the number one reason - the boyish good looks of Matt Holiday, I think I have derived a universal truth buried beneath the steroids and flat-brims: everyone loves statistics. There is nothing like crunching the numbers and mathematically calculating who should win, and then watching in horror as your sub-3 ERA pitcher walks the lead-off man.
That’s why Opening Day is so fun to watch: every player has a fresh start. ESPN will put up those “Last Season” stats, but what does it matter? It’s amazing that a sport with such a long season has such a long off-season as well, giving time for last season zeroes to train to become this season’s heroes. Aaron “Grand Slam” Cook, my favorite pitcher, just gave up a home run to the very first batter he faced, which I suppose means that last season’s heroes can also spend that off-season becoming zeroes. His ERA last season: 3.96. His ERA now: 27. Fellow Rockies fans, one inning in and I’m already beginning to think we’re in for a long season.
Unfortunately, we can’t sit and watch baseball all day every day. In the eternal words of Asher Roth, we all “gotta head back to class for a little bit”. Unless you’re a Cubs fan, we’ll all have to settle with watching the Red Sox and Yankees in the evenings, until we can return to our respective domiciles with complete access to our teams’ games. Oh those poor, dreamer Cubs fans. After saying it a hundred years straight, you’d think they’d be sick of saying, “This year’s our year.”
Soon, my fellow baseball fans, we will be out in the sun, enjoying some dogs and rooting on the home team. For now, however, take Opening Day as your Seventh Inning Stretch. Put that paper off another day and enjoy some of America’s pasttime. Just a couple more innings of academia left, then you have all of summer to do whatever you want. And when those dogs are barkin’, put your feet up, kick off your shoes, and enjoy some baseball. I know I will.